Indie Author Day: How a needs-based approach created a national event
The indie author community is growing–and so is the demand for books from indie publishers.
How do you harness that community and create an impact? That was the question waiting to be answered in early 2016.
“At the time, events for independent authors were being held by local libraries as they embraced their local author communities. But their one-off nature made it harder to manage and get the network effect of educating the public on the new ways libraries and authors are working together,”
said Mitchell Davis of BiblioBoard, a software as a service company that helps libraries better connect with their local communities.
That’s when indie advocates saw an opportunity to harness their audiences, resources and ideas into one cooperative effort. This would create for a cohesive push: a single day that everyone could jump in on including other nonprofits, publishing companies and other industry participants.
Thus, Indie Author Day was born.
“As advocates for independent presses, self-published authors, librarians and library patrons, we see Indie Author Day as a great means of connection,” said Angela Bole, CEO of The Independent Book Publishers Association. “The sheer amount of interest in the inaugural year goes to show the emerging interest in not only creating but also consuming new, independent works.”
How much interest, exactly? On October 8, 2016, over 250 libraries in 45 states played host to 3,000+ Indie Author Day attendees.
Most impressive, though, were the unique ideas that libraries produced: from panel discussions to book readings and open mics. Above all else, the ultimate goal of Indie Author Day is to bring authors together with their local communities.
“It’s incredibly important for all authors, regardless of whether they’re traditionally or independently published, to get involved with their fellows in the writing community, shop at their local bookstores, and frequent their local libraries,” said Renee Lamine of IngramSpark. “These are the individuals and institutions with the potential to be your biggest supporters.”
Indie Author Day provides an opportunity for those supporters to convene and creates particular benefits that arise when being in a room together, face-to-face.
“Romance Writers of America is committed to advancing the interests of all career-focused romance writers, no matter what path they take to publication,” said RWA President Leslie Kelly. “Indie Author Day is a great way for our independently published members to make connections with librarians and other professionals and opens doors that might otherwise be closed to them. Just as RWA will always support our traditionally published authors, we hope Indie Author Day is a great success for our indie-published ones.”
BookLife president Carl Pritzkat, who attended Indie Author Day events at two different libraries last year described the day as,
“Very positive…A fun way for our users to engage with their local communities while being recognized for their work.”
This year, we’re looking forward to even more participation, collaboration and meaningful connections.
Participation is completely free–we just want to be able to tell the world that you are supporting indie authors!
Indie Author Day would like to thank all of our sponsors who are helping to make this year’s Indie Author Day possible.